Emotions naturally run high during major organizational changes.
Separation makes room for doubt and confusion. But with a strong brand vision, a newly independent business can clearly define who they are, unite their people and set a course for a successful future.
Companies that complete successful spin-offs put brand at the center, with maneuvers rooted in purpose and expressed through great design and experience. We’ve helped create leading brands through spin-offs, including ITT to Xylem and Exelis, Pfizer to Zoetis, Biogen to Bioverativ, American Express to Ameriprise and Citigroup to OneMain. Through these partnerships, our team has honed a successful point of view on spin-off branding and has discovered five keys to success when charting the future of spin-offs.
1. Plan for two distinct futures from the beginning
Have a strategy in place to tell your own story before Day One, so investors are confident in its potential and employees see their future.
2. Lead without apology
The sooner new senior leadership encourages future managers of the spin-off to take ownership of their destiny, the stronger the organization will be in its representation come opening day.
3. Own your name
The company name merits a rigorous, fact-based assessment that carefully considers the business vision for the merger and what best encapsulates the combined company’s strategy.
4. Address brand architecture
It is important to establish brand architecture when considering how the whole identity system will work together and how these units will be connected on Day One and beyond. now, not later.
5. Harness employee energy
Communicating with employees clearly, honestly and frequently about the spin-off — and actively soliciting their participation in defining the new organization — is key to helping employees feel like part of the new entity and confident about their future and the road ahead.